Farmers markets are fun. But there's just something more magical about a summer night.

Balmy summer nights are right around the corner and that comes fireflies, bonfires and North Carolina night markets. If you love a farmer’s market during the day, imagine the elevated romance and atmosphere of a nighttime market, with vendors, food and music all under a blanket of twinkling stars.

Night markets are a worldwide phenomenon. History believes the concept originated in medieval China, spreading to other countries like Thailand and Taiwan, and especially grew after World War II. In the ’80s and ’90s, the bazaars became less like traditional wet markets and more bent on commerce (think pirated movies and luxury knockoffs, plus the typical street food). Thus, younger and more international crowds started being lured in and there you have it: a nighttime hullabaloo.

Luckily, the night market experience is attainable in the U.S and most importantly, for this purpose of this article, right here in North Carolina. Which stands to reason, as North Carolina is home to some of the best handmade crafts and delicious market food to be had. Handmade soaps, custom jewelry, produce from local farmers, baked goods and even custom can be found in the night markets. For the serious treasure hunter, antique vendors can usually be found selling hard to find items, anything from rare vinyl records to vintage clothing. However, if you see a cute little pet with directions to not feed after midnight for sale, you want to pass by on that deal……

Night markets not only provide a community event for people to retreat to at the end of their day, but often also help the businesses they operate near, as a varied selection of customers shop at these markets, opening nearby businesses to new customers that normally wouldn’t know about their stores. Because of this, night markets can greatly improve communities culturally, economically, and socially.

Let’s meet up under the stars at one of these North Carolina Night Markets.

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